Readily accessible from any of the Home Counties, from the west and from the Midlands, Hampshire makes an ideal destination for a break with your caravan for the long weekend – and there is so much to see and do, you’ll probably be only too glad it’s a long weekend.
If it’s your first outing of the year, though, don’t forget to check that your touring caravan insurance is fully up to date.
- Forest or beach?
Do you want the shady glades of a woodland caravan site or do you want one close to the beach? Do you want to clamber over the rocks on the seashore or walk through the shady forest?
Pitch up at Harrow Wood Farm Caravan Park, just five miles outside the charming town of Christchurch, and you can have the best of both worlds – bracing coastal walks around nearby Hengistbury Head and a caravan site within the verdant National Park of the New Forest.
- Hayling Island
Fancy a trip on a narrow-gauge railway? Hop on the one at Hayling Seaside, and you’ll be able to alight right in the heart of all the thrills and spills of Funland Amusement Park – there’s plenty there to keep the whole family active the whole of the day.
If you want to stay with your caravan on Hayling Island, why not check out Fishery Creek Touring Park – it’s right on the water’s edge and is large enough to accommodate scores of touring caravans even on a busy Bank Holiday weekend.
- Selsey Bill
That’s the place, not the local character, and might give you a quieter time than its neighbour, Hayling Island, just across the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. While Selsey is actually classed as Sussex, it borders Hampshire and is well worth a visit.
There’s naturally a maritime theme, with the RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station and Museum, but also the chance to follow trails through the Medmerry Nature Reserve, right at the tip of the peninsula.
Warner Farm Touring Park, on Selsey Bill, has well over 100 pitches for touring caravans – from fully-serviced, hard standing pitches, to standard grass pitches.
- National Motor Museum
The largest motor museum in the country is in the grounds of the medieval Beaulieu Abbey, which has been in the Montagu family since 1538. There is not only the motor museum and the beautiful surrounding gardens, but the estate also stretches to the hamlet of Bucklers Hard, where Nelson’s ships were built using New Forest oak.
You can pitch your caravan just a few miles from the Beaulieu estate at Roundhill Caravan and Camping Site – a spacious park on the mixed heathland and forest of the New Forest National Park. The 500 pitches give you plenty of varied and diverse spots from which to choose.
If you want to combine a little retail therapy with your weekend caravanning, Southampton’s Westquay shopping mall is going to be a major attraction. The port city is also a gateway to the Isle of Wight – via the Red Funnel ferry service – which is also worth a daytrip.
At the end of a busy day, you are able to make the short three-mile drive along the M27 motorway, to find a peaceful and relaxing retreat at Sunnydale Farm Camping and Caravan Site.
You are likely to compare caravan insurance for very similar reasons to those when comparing any type of insurance:
- having decided just what type of cover you need, you compare the various products on offer that appear to meet those needs; and
- at the same time, you compare the prices of the most likely products.
Although your comparison of caravan insurance is really no different in principle, it may be complicated by your questioning just what cover might be appropriate for your particular caravan, where to find the products you need in what is after all a definite niche in the wider insurance market, and deciding whether the prices quoted represent good value for money.
In other words, caravan insurance is very much a specialist form of insurance – so you might want to consult a specialist provider with experience in having arranged cover for many other caravan owners.
That is a description which fits us very well here at Cover4Caravans. We have many years of experience in understanding the particular needs of our caravan-owning customers, matching those needs to the products available and providing a meaningful comparison of competitive quotes.
London Economics has identified the critical role that is played by independent insurance brokers such as ourselves in identifying the risks of insured items, providing customers with more reliable information about insurance products – in a market where there is “imperfect information” – comparing the relative merits of competing products and offering help and assistance in the event of a claim having to be made.
Knowing your caravan
Our expertise in this particular niche of the market means that we are almost certain to have encountered the make and model of your own caravan before. Naturally, this is a considerable assistance in establishing insured values and in providing a basis on which risks may be assessed.
It is an understanding and familiarity which helps an independent broker to identify your individual needs and to home in on those products most likely to meet your needs, before making a thorough caravan insurance comparison on your behalf.
An accurate and realistic valuation of your caravan is important to establishing the total sum insured and the basis for comparing levels of compensation for loss or damage.
In the worst case scenario, for example, in which your caravan is totally destroyed by an insured event, some insurers may offer replacement as new (provided the caravan was less than a given number of years old), or replaced according to assessed market values at the time of the incident. When you compare caravan insurance, you clearly need to know which of these policies is adopted by the selected insurers under review.
Additional factors for comparison
There are a number of additional features and benefits which some insurers offer, whilst others do not.
We are able to advise, for instance, whether products offer free European cover for your caravan, discounts reflecting the level of security used to safeguard and track your caravan in the event of it being stolen, discounts for membership of a recognised caravan club, and further discounts for storage of your caravan at a secure Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) site when it is laid up out of season.
You are likely to have invested a substantial sum in the purchase of your static caravan, so purpose designed insurance may be a priority well worth giving your home away from home.
But what do you need to know when buying your static caravan insurance?
Firstly, in most cases, you are not obliged to take your site owner’s own insurance. You are free to shop around for the cover. The site owner may ask for proof that you have arranged your own static home insurance and may charge a nominal fee to see the paperwork. Even with that fee taken in to account, however, shopping around for the cover (using a service such as ours), you could still save money.
- whenever you are arranging insurance, the value of the insured item is an important consideration – and static caravan insurance is no different;
- the total sum insured represents the maximum amount the insurer pays out in the event of a total loss (if the caravan is consumed by fire, for example);
- when deciding that total sum, therefore, you might want to take into account the cost of replacing your caravan;
- depending on the policy you choose, this might be its current market value, or replacement as new – the latter may typically be more expensive, of course, and is available for caravans less than 3 or 5 years old (regardless of the number of previous owners);
Risk of flooding
- during many British winters, flooding – from swollen rivers or rising tides – may cause widespread damage and caravan parks are likely to be especially vulnerable;
- for that reason, our static caravan insurance policies here at Cover4Caravans reflect the postcode of the park on which it is pitched, so that discounts may be made if yours is in a flood-free area;
- you might check on the vulnerability of your particular caravan park by searching the Environment Agency’s map of threats of flooding from rivers and the sea;
Public liability insurance
- the owners and managers of the park or resort accommodating your static caravan are almost certain to have asked for proof that you have public liability insurance;
- this element of cover is designed to ensure that fair and adequate compensation is received by visitors to the park, your neighbours there, or other members of the public who have suffered an injury or had their property damaged through some negligence on your part as the owner of the static caravan;
- public liability claims such as this may assume very significant proportions and it is usual, therefore, for cover to be provided against claims of at least £1 million – and sometimes £5 million;
Out of season precautions
- many parks for static caravans close down for at least part of the winter season – and this might be a time when yours is especially vulnerable to break-ins, theft or damaged caused by electrical or gas faults or the escape of water;
- when arranging your insurance cover, therefore, you might want to establish what additional security measures your insurer demands during this closed season – and whether, for example, your premiums are discounted at all if the site has taken particular security measures, such as CCTV or manned patrols of the site;
- you may also be expected to take certain common sense precautions when leaving your caravan empty and unoccupied for any length of time – including the disconnection of all electrical and gas services and draining down the water from heating, kitchen and bathroom systems.
By keeping these considerations firmly in mind, you may be certain of arranging the static caravan insurance you need – at a competitive price.